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The Iron Trial: Book One of The Magisterium | [Holly Black, Cassandra Clare]

The Iron Trial: Book One of The Magisterium

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial. Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail. All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him. So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing. Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.
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Publisher's Summary

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .From the remarkable imaginations of bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a heart-stopping, mind-blowing, pulse-pounding plunge into the magical unknown.

©2014 Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (P)2014 Listening Library

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (298 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (265 )
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Story
4.3 (267 )
5 star
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4 star
 (96)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Douglas Owen Sound, ON, Canada 09-11-14
    Douglas Owen Sound, ON, Canada 09-11-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    103
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    "Harry Potter it ain't!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Iron Trial the most enjoyable?

    The characters were well voiced and most of the main characters had a seperate voice. The Narrator was animated and matched mood of the current scene well.


    What other book might you compare The Iron Trial to and why?

    I've seen claims that this is similar to Harry Potter and really it's not. I'd be more incline to compare this book to "The Dark Is Rising" volume 2. I think this is a better comparison because unlike Harry otter, both this book and the otehr are gears towards and older YA range.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I can't really answer this without giving away spoilers


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. While there were some areas that dragged, I was hooked form the beginning and had to resist the urge to skip to the end to find out what happened.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll be interested in seeing if the second book in the sereis stands up just as well as the first book. I enjoyed this novel because the characters seemed fleshed out, there was some mystery and not everything is neatly wrapped up.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 09-28-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    2
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    "Engaging Fantasy"
    What did you love best about The Iron Trial?

    I enjoyed the book and look forward to a sequel. Well written and performed. Kept my interest throughout.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHERI NY 09-27-14
    CHERI NY 09-27-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't wait for next book"
    What made the experience of listening to The Iron Trial the most enjoyable?

    I loved listening to the story of characters and finding what they are going to be in life. This was a wonderful fresh of air!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rufus because he cares for the boys


    What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

    Very much so !


    Any additional comments?

    Keep them coming. I love the story line, and her books

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ogden, UT 02-04-15
    Amazon Customer Ogden, UT 02-04-15 Member Since 2014

    Justin

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wicked prologue, difficult slog until the last 25%"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I had a really hard time with this story until the last 25%


    If you’ve listened to books by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare before, how does this one compare?

    I've really enjoyed Cassandra Clare's books before. I know of Holly Black, but haven't really read a ton of hers. This one was a dissappointment compared to what I've read, until the incredible twist at the end.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Boehmer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was my first one of his narrations. He was okay. He didn't really stand out either way. That's probably a good thing, I suppose.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not.


    Any additional comments?

    My in depth review:

    ***

    After slogging through this book, I’d give it three clumps of lichen just based on the ending alone (if you read the book, this will make sense.)


    What originally attracted me to this book was its amazing cover. I loved the art style, and the death-eater-looking bad guy that dominates the scene (more on the Harry Potter similarities below.) The trio of kids below was a nice complement and created an air of conflict before I even opened the book. So, the cover rocked.
    Once I opened the book and began reading, I found myself really intrigued by the prologue. The writing’s voice was interesting, and the scenario really got me hooked: A lone stranger, climbing the icy face of a mountain only to discover that a massacre had taken place. He finds an abandoned baby boy. Next to the little tike were the words etched in ice, “kill the child.”

    Hook, line, and sinker. I was in.

    And then… the story started. At first, I wasn’t exactly sure why, but I had a hard time getting into this book. After giving this some thought, I think my initial issues with this book were rooted in the poor pacing, and the lack of real conflict early in the book. I’ll explain these after the book blurb:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

    Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

    All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.


    So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

    Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

    The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So, my issues are centered in the pacing, and lack of real conflict early in the book.
    Pacing - This book is really a setup for the series, which is nothing new. Not all book 1’s have to spend so much time initially setting up each character and his or her backgrounds, though. My guess is, ultimately, the authors decided to make such a great prologue with such a compelling hook, because the beginning of the story was so slow. It’s a technique that buys the writers time to do all the info dumping they want. In a way, it worked with me, as I almost gave up on the book a couple of times but didn’t because I wanted to see what that prologue was about. I’m glad I didn’t give up, too, as the last quarter of the novel was quite good.

    Lack of conflict early on - While this story had magic, and mysterious secrets, it really didn’t feel like it did. At first, I wondered if the descriptions just left me wanting. Then, the three protagonists met a fire elemental named Warren; a lizard that seemed devious and mischievous, and I was instantly paying more attention to the story than I had before. I then realized, that this lizard represented a real conflict appearing in the story for the first time. Sure, Callum Hunt, the main protagonist, had a father that was seriously against him going to the magisterium, but it was expected for him to go, and everything pointed to him going, even though he tried to fail. The Mages wouldn’t allow him to skip school. This conflict didn’t feel real. And, yeah, there were bullies that would pick on Callum, but it seemed obvious that the adults and Mages would protect him somehow. That conflict didn’t feel real either.

    But when Callum (spoilers coming) steals Warren, the fire elemental, and some key information about his past, the story takes a different, more risky turn. They get lost, and Callum’s forced to rely on Warren to navigate the dark caverns of the magisterium. Suddenly there was a real conflict. The reader could sense that Warren had dual motives, but wasn’t sure what they were. Things got real from there on.

    Later, the true Makar (the chosen one) is revealed as someone other than Callum, and that other person is the only one that can beat the enemy of death. Then, the twists began. While Callum wasn’t the Makar, like the authors surely wanted the readers to believe he was. We learn that he has a much more twisted fate in store for him, and, to be fair, the twist was a really good one. For me, the last quarter of the book made up for all the rest.

    Side note: There are a LOT of reviewers that hate on this book for some of its parallels to the Harry Potter series. While I can see where they are coming from, I didn’t feel like these similarities were so blatant that it hurt my personal reading experience. That said, I did notice a couple of things here and there that broke the “spell” momentarily, but I got my groove again fairly easily.

    In short, if you can get by on the excitement produced in you from the prologue to last through the first 3/4 of the book, you will likely enjoy the twisted ending, and the real internal conflict it produces in Callum.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 03-02-15
    Sara 03-02-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Derivative but enjoyable"

    I saw a commercial at the Book Fair advertising this book that piqued my interest. The concept is Harry Potter meets Naruto. I enjoyed both of those series, and I am enjoying this one as well.

    What I love: Havoc, the dog, has a precious little puppy heart and a really cool name.

    What I hate: The wrist bands. It's contrived. Too much time is spent on wristbands and how they work and what they mean. Everybody has seen a letterman's jacket. We get it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Irvin 02-18-15
    Irvin 02-18-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Good story"

    Story was good - can't wait for the next in the series. Read a lot of reviews comparing to Harry Potter, while I can certainly seer similarities - if you get expecting the same you may be disappointed. Read/listen to it and try not to compare. Both series are good, but different.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Teaneck, NJ, USA 02-12-15
    Anthony Teaneck, NJ, USA 02-12-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Totally Enjoyable"

    I cannot wait for the second book. Completed this audible book in about 2 days!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucky Pez North Carolina 01-16-15
    Lucky Pez North Carolina 01-16-15 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "awesome listen! "

    Thought I knew what the twist would be early on, but I was wrong! loved this book can't wait for the next one! !

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn United States 01-02-15
    Carolyn United States 01-02-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Reminds me of a Darker version of Harry Potter."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Iron Trial to be better than the print version?

    I'm a bit biased since I would rather listen to the audio version of just about every fiction novel over reading it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way the story reminded me of Harry Potter(love those books), but at the same time made me feel like i was listening to something unique.


    What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Pretty much why i love audio books. The book comes to life. The character's feelings becomes more distinct.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A unique experience for fans of Harry Potter.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula 07-19-15
    Paula 07-19-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Amazing"
    If you could sum up The Iron Trial in three words, what would they be?

    Different, mysterioso, funny


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Anyone at this moment.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Boehmer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, this was my first experience, and I liked this voice.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I heard the book dome time ago, so I do not remember many details. Anyway, it is a different job compared to other series from Cassandra Clare. It's Worth listenig this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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